DAZ Studio 4.5 Release Candidate Available Now

DAZ_bfurnerDAZ_bfurner Posts: 62
edited June 2012 in The Commons

DAZ Studio 4.5 RC1!

This release candidate is available to all customers and will run either without a serial number (although you will be asked to enter one each time you run DAZ Studio), or with your current DAZ Studio serial number. Installing 4.5 will uninstall 4.0, and we recommend installing only one of either 4.0.x or 4.5.x on the same machine.

The purpose of this build is to provide early access to the new features available in DAZ Studio 4.5. This is a release candidate, which means we are looking for prompt feedback about significant issues that may still exist in this build as we approach full release. To help our test and development teams, please focus issue reports on items that are significant workflow blocks, crashes, or other major issues rather than new feature requests, UI changes, or desired workflow changes.

New in DAZ Studio 4.5:
1. Full implementation of the DSON file format. This enables full scene save in a lightweight scene file (DUF format). These scene files can be loaded and used by anyone who has installed the products used in the scene. If one or more of the products is not found upon loading the scene, a warning dialog will indicate which files are needed.
2. Selective item save/load. Save only selected items in a scene, then drop them into another scene using lightweight preset files.
3. Viewport speed dramatically increased. For many viewport interactions, speed will be 2-5x faster than DAZ Studio 4.0.
4. DSON file save includes the ability to load and use most Poser files as if they were native DSF files. DUF scenes that contain items in Poser format are also sharable (i.e. only contain references to the needed Poser files).
5. Property Settings now consolidates more information about each property into a single interface (e.g. presentation editor).
6. FBX Import FBX files can now be round-tripped through DAZ Studio, including rigged and animated items in the scene.
7. The Darkside style is now included as part of the base installation package.
8. No serial number is required to run either the 32-bit or 64-bit versions of DAZ Studio Standard
9. Shader Mixer has significantly improved workflow and documentation.
10. New "Ready to Render" scenes have been added as part of the content that installs with 4.5. Loading these is a great way to start tweaking and playing with some cool scenes.
11. A number of Lesson Strips have been added. These are quick lessons about DAZ Studio basics. There are also instruction on how to create your own Lesson Strips on the DAZ Documentation Center.

Along with all the new things in DAZ Studio 4.5, you will also find new documentation on some of the deeper functionality in DAZ Studio on the DAZ Documentation Center in the Publishing and DAZ Studio sections.

If you find any serious issues please report them with as much detail as you can in the DAZ Issue Tracker

What you need to know about this build:
1. Many, many issues and workflow improvements have been addressed since we released 4.0.3. Too many to list here. Please see the DAZ Issue Tracker and the DAZ Studio 4.5 Change Log for details (this will be included in the download of the product).
2. Files saved from this version of DAZ Studio are not backward compatible with older versions, including version 4.0.x.
3. Plugins that run in version 4.0 will not run in version 4.5.
4. When installing the plugins that come with DAZ Studio, you may see warning dialogs indicating there was a problem with installation. These warnings do not affect installation, but we are addressing the warnings in a later build.
5. Not all features of FBX are supported on import, so characters from other 3D applications imported in FBX format may or may not come through with all their components.
6. All presets are saved in lightweight DUF format and scripted presets (DSA files) have been deprecated. DSA presets will still save and load, but the new preset format should be used in their place.

Thank you for helping us make DAZ Studio great!

You can get this version of DAZ Studio here: DAZ Studio 4.5

Follow this topic in this forum thread in the DAZ Studio Discussion: DAZ Studio 4.5 Release Candidate Available Now

Post edited by DAZ_bfurner on


  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 74,161
    edited May 2012

    Here are a few gems from the old forum on new and updated features:


    Has nobody mentioned Instancing yet, it works well. I am not sure what the Geometry Shell is for though, is it some kind of Null?


    Geometry Shell is designed to provide an effects layer for prop/figure. It creates a heavy instance that is slightly offset from the target. It has its own materials. It can also be duplicated a figure when all you need is a different material and transform. Instances are lighter than shells, but a shell is much lighter than inserting a second figure.


    Instances are created at 100% size, even if the prop they copy has been scaled down, which is likely the size most users will want them in (e.g. import an OBJ made for whatever else application which needs rescaling).
    Likewise Geometry Shell, if loaded as parented of a down-scaled prop, has the Translate dials that do not take into account the scaling: I translate it 1200 X, and it moved by a few cm (I have to admit the sandbag is scaled down to 0,22% so it's a wee bit of an extreme example lol).

    Features: (lol, sorry guys)
    I was thinking for fast hair Indirect Diffuse a scaled down Geometry Shell, that fits just inside the hair model would be extremely useful (unless the shell is simply a scaled up version, easy enough to scale it down in that case).
    Right click on a node in Scene tab to bring up the create new node instance option.

    Overall great job guys!


    The log is pretty clear that Curves are a prototype, hence experimental, at this point. We wanted to be further along, but time/resources didn't agree with our desires - this being a bit of a pet project and all. We began working on it right about the time we saw the FiberMesh functionality show up in ZBrush 4R2b, as a way to convert the geometry it produces into something that is much less resource intensive and much faster to render.

    Interestingly enough, Alessandro has been doing a great job of independently addressing the need for curve based hair/fur with his LAMH plugin. We had already been working on our prototype framework for a bit before we knew what he was up to or had seen any previews, otherwise they might have been more aligned... one of our goals of course being producing something that could be shared between DAZ Studio and Carrara via the DSON formats.

    BTW, the Geometry Shell is the thing I mentioned some time back in the GeoGrafting thread. Since its geometry is a copy of the cached geometry from the object it is a shell of, with a grafted figure the shell includes the graft. And given that a Geometry Shell has a Push Modifier (offset along the normals) applied by default, and the shell has its own materials (independent of the object it is a copy of), that means the shell can be textured as the graft... along with the transition between the grafting geometry and the underlying base figure - thereby allowing the texture for the graft to "blend" (overlay) with the texture for the figure and ultimately remove the boundaries.



    Is the Geometry Shell for things like Jepes Project M4 Body and Facial Hair? And maybe glowy effects around a figure? Something like that?

    Yes, these are great instances to use shell and they are less resource intensive than putting another genesis/m4 in the scene

    Instances are created at 100% size, even if the prop they copy has been scaled down, which is likely the size most users will want them in (e.g. import an OBJ made for whatever else application which needs rescaling).
    Likewise Geometry Shell, if loaded as parented of a down-scaled prop, has the Translate dials that do not take into account the scaling: I translate it 1200 X, and it moved by a few cm (I have to admit the sandbag is scaled down to 0,22% so it's a wee bit of an extreme example lol).

    Just as a note, you can actually instance a whole node hierarchy, just point the instance at the root. Scale relative to the hierarchy is maintained. The instance of course has its own transform by design, but maybe they could be made to copy scale when created.

    The shell in this case is following Studio's standard transform calculation (you'd have a similar issue with any prop or primitive parented to a largely scaled down item). Translation is done before scale. In this case I would recommend importing the object at a smaller size.

    It has more uses than just this... but...

    You can think of a Geometry Shell as the candy coating of an M&M. The candy coating of an M&M takes on the form of the substance beneath it. Plain M&Ms; have a particular shape, peanut M&Ms; have a particular shape, peanut butter M&Ms; have a particular shape... none of which are exactly the same. The one thing that is the same though, is that the candy coating takes on the shape of the substance beneath it.

    With M&Ms;, the candy coating is applied after the shape is already decided. So then imagine being able to dynamically change the shape of a single M&M into any number of shapes and have the candy coating follow in kind. Imagine being able to dynamically offset that candy coating from the substance beneath it. Imagine being able to dynamically chip away parts of that candy coating to reveal the substance beneath it. Pretty slick, right? Well... that's one of several uses for a Geometry Shell.


    Right clicking on items in the Brickyard also provides direct links to online documentation for each Category/Brick.


    Post edited by Richard Haseltine on
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